A surprising name appeared on the Dallas Cowboys inactives list prior to the game against the New York Giants for Sunday Night Football.
The Dallas Cowboys had to make some tough decisions earlier this month when they cut down their 90-man roster to just 53 players. The tough choices continue into the regular season, as the team must also decide which of those final 53 are made inactive before every game.
The Cowboys, along with every other NFL team, are only allowed to carry 46 players on their game day roster. That means, prior to every contest, Dallas must decide on seven players to “scratch” from that roster and be place on an inactive list. Those selected are unable to participate in that day’s game.
Prior to the Cowboys’ Sunday night primetime matchup against the New York Giants, a surprising name appeared on Dallas’ inactive list. And that player is running back Darren McFadden, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer.
This is the first time in McFadden’s 10-year career that he has been made inactive for an NFL game. The Cowboys will instead roll with running backs Alfred Morris and Rod Smith to back-up starter Ezekiel Elliott against the G-Men.
The choice by Dallas to sit McFadden is a bit shocking as the 30-year old rushed for over 1,000 yards for the Cowboys just two seasons ago. And his speed and abilities as a receiver out of the backfield are a nice complement to Elliott’s more power-rushing style.
But Morris outperformed McFadden in the preseason and Smith is a key special teams contributor, apparently making both running backs more valuable to the team for this contest.
Also inactive against the Giants are guard Jonathan Cooper, quarterback Cooper Rush, cornerbacks Bene Benwikere and Jourdan Lewis, linebacker Anthony Hitchens and wide receiver Noah Brown.
McFadden was the fourth overall selection in the 2008 NFL Draft out of Arkansas. He spent his first seven seasons in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders, but only rushed over 1,000 yards mark once during his time there. McFadden has spent the last two years in Dallas, although he was limited to just three games in 2016 due to an elbow injury.